Refurbishing and Upgrading my Char-Griller Grill and Smoker Stage one gryniewski home :: stage two
Making modifications and painting the Smokin Pro by Chargriller

Ski BBQ Mark J. Gryniewski

Mark GryniewskiThe old backyard Char-Griller has been around for about 3 years now and put to heavy use. It has been over temperature a number of times - not taken care of quite like it should have been and ended up with a good portion of the powder coat peeling off.

After the powder coat gave way the rust came in and started gobbling up everything amazingly fast - it was time to step in and save my old friend from complete destruction!

This is stage one of the refurbishing - the power wash, sanding, painting, basket mod, wheels mod, smokestack mod and more!

First I power washed the greasy chunks away and used a wire wheel attached to
my drill to get it presentable enough to take to the garage.
(well with my friend Aaron's help - thanks Aaron!)

The sanding and wire brushing was labor intensive as I left it go so long.

You can see the large patches of missing powder coat on the bottom here. : top

The garage workshop was pretty small but with all the rain we had it was my only hope to get it done. : top

What a rust bucket! Notice the ears on the opening for the SFB on the left - those had to be cut off to make the : top
nice football shaped opening and it was not real easy!

Major progress finally. This side is nearly ready for paint and as you see nearly all of the powder coat
is gone and down to bare metal - that was a lot of work. : top

This side needs more attention and those dog gone ears! How do I cut them without a jigsaw? Arghhh : top

A lot of help this guy was. He drank all my beer and watched me sand. : top

Getting down to business with the bottom of this beast was not fun either. I had no saw horses so I had
the kneel a lot and that is never comfortable. : top


My buddy Andy McNasty stopped by to "help" also. He drank beer from the keg. Thanks Andy! : top

Ok, I took a break and made some ribs - (shhhhhhhhh - in  the  oven) Oh the humanity! We ate them too quick for more
pictures so all you get to see are the raw ribs with a touch of Pappy's Original rub... they were tasty. : top

Ok let's jump to some of the mods. I bought a new SFB from CG and first thing to do was the straps and basket mod.
I used hanger iron and decided to curl the extra under instead of up to get a cleaner look. : top

Ok, below you see that we cut those pesky ears off. Andy McNasty came in handy with a jigsaw and metal blade.
We then drank more Killian's from the garage keg. Another day gone. : top

Below: Some pics of the paint job after 5 coats. Picture quality isn't too good but the paint is looking great so far.
You can see I decided to just paint over the Char-Griller logo. I talked to the CG folks and I am getting a new
logo plaque from them at the end of August 2008 - for $5.00! : top

I used Rustoleoum High Heat Ultra spray paint and went through 3 small cans and 2 of the 15oz bonus cans.
There is a little left in the last can but not much. That's a lot of paint. : top

Below are some miscellaneous parts I painted as they suspend from a hanger. Hope no one
notices the Breakfast Club movie poster in the background..... at this point we had more beer.
Kiss another day goodbye! : top

Now back to the mods. As part of the SFB strap and basket mod, I had this charcoal basket custom made.
It is stainless and VERY heavy.

A huge thank you goes out to my friends that made this great charcoal basket for me:

Thanks JP, Ron S, Bill G., Randy S. and the infamous Charlie S. for fabricating the uber-basket for free.
You guys rock! Great job... (now can I get a dozen made up to sell??)

Also, thanks to my buddy Al W. for setting this up.

I wonder if the holes will allow enough ash to fall down to the ash pan without shaking the heck out if it??

UPDATE (7-31-08) The basket holes are fine and the ashes sift through just dandy. I shake the basket when I am adding fuel
just to make sure things are open on the bottom but it's no big deal - it works great and my fires are not being choked out at all
even on long burns - success!

 : top

The custom basket in the SFB on the straps. You can see that the welds are not stainless. No worries. : top

The drawer slides out with ease and doesn't disturb the charcoal basket at all. : top

Old pieces and parts for the trash dump. You will see later that I did the wheels mod so these stock wheels
have to go. And that ash pan..... oh my.... what can I say. I got a new one from CG, this one was hopeless. : top

Skipping ahead a little bit to the dry run on the assembly and fitting of the new axles and tires.

Notice I added a 2" thermometer at grate level here. All the wood has been sanded down as best we could and all
bolts and nuts have been replaced with new stainless hardware.

The axles have to be trimmed down and holes drilled for cotter pins - we are getting there though! : top

At this point I added the new rotisseries hardware and tested that rig out - no problems.

Also note that the insides still need attention - that comes later - not done yet! : top

More paint shots. That handle is the stock handle and after this pic it actually broke apart. It has been replaced
with new 1 1/4" dowel from Home Depot.  : top

Many more pics to come showing the end of the project.

I will post pics of the smokestack vent mod and the final pics of the wheels and axles being finished up as well as
shots of the completed smoker - stay tuned for more! : top


Hit Counter

Parts List so far:

New main chamber ash pan   Char-Griller $
New Main chamber cast iron grates Char-Griller $
Rotisserie Kit Char-Griller $
New Cover Char-Griller $
New Side Fire Box Char-Griller $217.00 total for this and all above
4 new Wheels - with ball bearing hubs and stainless cotter pins Western Auto $35.00
2 new 1/2" steel stock (36") axles and hanger iron for SFB straps Johnson's Hardware $17.50
New thermometer for grate level River Country $12.00
New dowel for SFB and main chamber handles (48 inches) Home Depot $3.69
3" x 8' semi rigid dryer vent and hose clamp Home Depot $8.69
Stainless bolts, nuts, washers etc. Ace Hardware $30.00
Custom charcoal basket Friends made this $FREE
New pair grilling gloves eBay $10.00
Vertical Rib racks x 2 eBay $25.00
Instant read thermometer Wal-Mart $5.00
Small Cast iron smoke box for chips and small smoke jobs Wal-Mart $9.00
Rustoleoum High Heat Ultra Paint x 5 Wal-Mart $34.00
New Char-Griller logo Char-griller $5.00
New main chamber replacement stock thermometer eBay $2.99
Beer to get people to help me my kegs and cases Too Much!
Grand Total -   $423.76

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